Minister Carlisle Announces Safely Home Progress Report and Three-Year Fatality Stats
Year-on-Year Fatality Statistics
Robin Carlisle, the Minister of Transport and Public Works, has announced a 24% reduction in road fatalities since the end of 2008.
"At the beginning of 2009, I set the target of bringing down the death toll by 50%."
"While 1 739 people died on our roads in 2008, that figure dropped to 1 567 in 2009, 1 487 in 2010 and 1 321 in 2011. This means that through the efforts of our Safely Home Team and our road safety partners, including many motorists, we have saved the lives of 839 people."
"I want to thank all those road safety partners who have helped make this possible. It is a very long list because the vast majority of the people of the Western Cape are on it; it is you who have brought the death toll down."
"Over a thousand people are alive today who would otherwise be dead because of the decision you have made to stop drinking and driving, to slow down, to buckle yourselves and your children up, and to stop using your cellphones. It is a small minority who are still doing the killing," Minister Carlisle said.
"To the minority who have not made the change, I urge you to think long and hard about which side you are on when it comes to road safety. Join us, please, before it is too late for you and your loved ones. I also need to make mention of the source of our fatality stats. Some time ago we came to the conclusion that the official stats from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) were neither accurate nor stable. This was confirmed by the CEO of the RTMC during last year."
"We now use the stats of the Forensic Pathology Services on a one-for-one body count. We are satisfied that these are the most accurate road fatality stats in the country."
Festive Season Statistics
Minister Carlisle has called the 6% drop in fatalities over the 2011/2012 festive season "a slight decrease, but a significant one for the families of the 16 road users whose lives were saved".
The festive season ran from 1 December 2011 to 31 January 2012.
"Through an intense Safely Home campaign and the support of an increasing number of road users, we have managed to bring down the festive season 2010/2011 fatality figure of 259 to 243," Minister Carlisle said.
"I am disappointed that the reduction was not greater, but we have learned valuable lessons for the future, particularly in respect of long-distance minibus taxi traffic," said Minister Carlisle.
More than double the usual number of roadblocks were held over the two-month period, with a total of 483 roadblocks resulting in 161 989 vehicles being pulled over.
"A total of 3 250 long-distance public transport drivers were forced to rest for up to four hours as part of fatigue management on the N1 route to the Eastern Cape."
"This intervention was implemented as of 24 December 2011, putting the brakes on any further public transport vehicle crashes over this stretch. The result has been the continuous implementation of this programme."
"Our Safely Home team worked side by side with dedicated traffic officers around the province to ensure that the net was tightened around reckless drivers."
Safely Home activities to get the message across to road users included:
- Publicising the provincial traffic hotline - 021 812 4581/2. The hotline was extremely busy during this period, proof that the public answered the call to report reckless drivers.
- Safely Home's Road Safety "Be a Hero" Advertising Campaign.
- The Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) pilot in Beaufort West. While there was one fatal crash involving a bakkie on this stretch of road, it is heartening to note that not one crash involving a public transport vehicle was recorded for the duration of the festive season. This justifies plans to roll this technology out to other dangerous roads.
- The partnership with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) "Hlokomela" ("We care" in Sotho) project, whose goal it is to "change the face of the taxi industry", was intensified. We would like to thank industry leaders for assisting our officials at ranks and roadblocks to identify "unroadworthy" vehicles and address drivers on safety and the need for regular rests. We also had an excellent partnership with SANCO which we will grow into the future.
- The partnership with the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), whose members provided free vehicle checks.
- The Safely Home and the public transport safety and compliance teams were out on the key routes to assist traffic officials at routine checks and to hand out safety awareness and fatigue avoidance leaflets.
- The 5 December 2011 press conference with the Department of Health and ChildSafe to raise awareness of child road safety.
- The launch of Crash Witness on 6 December.
A special appeal goes out to passengers on buses and taxis to continue reporting reckless drivers.
* Please note that the original statistic of 1 042 has been amended to 839. This miscalculation has no bearing whatsoever on the calculation of an overall decrease in fatalities of 24%, which is correct.
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